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The History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Historical writings, documents, letters, events, people, places and references through-out the history of A.A.


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The Alcoholics Anonymous Preamble

Copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.

   Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

    The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.


New line In The Beginning
The story of the history of Alcoholics Anonymous begins way before its actual founding. -Mitchell K.
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New line Why Study AA History?
In a quote attributed to Carl Sandburg, he summed it up when he wrote; "Whenever a civilization or society declines (or perishes) there is always one condition present - they forgot where they came from." -Mitchell K.
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New line Correcting Errors
Names, dates and other "facts," backed up by solid documentation show that some of the historical data contained within the pages of AA Conference-Approved literature is not accurate. Other data even sheds new light upon AA's History which was hitherto unknown. -Mitchell K.
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New line Printed Book Reviews of The First Printing of The Big Book
Thanks to Jim B. of Canada who put together this presentation of articles. Jim originally had these articles on the web site of historyofaa.com which is no longer online and placed here for historical & research purposes.

New line Let's Ask Bill W.
This series was compiled by Jim B. These excerpts from various talks and articles by and on Bill W. reveal a wealth of the thinking and insight of one of the co-founder's of Alcoholics Anonymous.

New line A New Approach to Psychotherapy in Chronic Alcoholism
"One powerful factor is that of self-preservation. These ex-alcoholics frequently find that unless they spend time helping others to health they cannot stay sober themselves." -by W.D. Silkworth, M.D. (You can read more of Dr. Silkworth's writing's here).
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New line In AA’s First Five Years
"In the early days of AA things were really different. For five years there was no Big Book. The only way to communicate with other people was to go and tell them, so that’s what we did." -Lois W.
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New line Dr. Bob's Last Major Talk
"Although a good many of you have heard or have read about the inception of A.A., probably there are some who haven't. From that brief story, there are things to be learned. So, even at the risk of repetition, I would like to relate exactly what did happen in those early days." -Dr. Bob
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New line A Fragment of History
"So far as people were concerned, the main channels of inspiration for our Steps were three in number - the Oxford Groups, Dr. William D. Silkworth of Townes Hospital and the famed psychologist, William James, called by some the father of modern psychology." -Bill W.
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New line AA Spiritual History Workshop
This PDF contains the slides from Jay S.' history workshop at the Men Among Men conference in Reykjavik, Iceland - 03/10/07, file size: 92.2 mb


Pre-AA | AA History - General | Research & Study | Dr. William D. Silkworth | AA Members & Writings of | Literature - AA & Groups
Grapevine Articles | PDF Project | Magazine & Newspaper Articles | Religious Magazine Articles | The Washingtonians
Growth of A.A. | The Emmanuel Movement | Related & Influential Books | News Articles | Past, Present
cofounders of Alcoholics Anoonymous, William Griffith Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D. (Dr. Bob); 1st AA meeting ever, June 10th, 1935.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor approved of Welcome to Silkworth.info. Nor is Welcome to Silkworth.info affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any service entity of AAWS, Inc. which includes The AA Grapevine, Inc. Alcoholics Anonymous®, the book, Alcoholics Anonymous®, The Big Book®, the book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions® are registered trademarks of AAWS, Inc. The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.
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